Embroidery digitization is the process of converting an artwork design into a digital file that can be understood by a machine, so that the embroidery machine can embroider according to the design's path. Although this process is not automated, if executed correctly, excellent digitized designs can be regarded as an art form. Most embroidery machines have their own software that can control their functions and embroider according to the instructions of the digitized file.
Since embroidery machines cannot directly read files from computers, designs must be converted into a format that can be understood by the machine. Digitizers usually need to convert a client's company logo or artwork from a JPG or PNG file into an embroidery file. The embroidery file format depends on the type of embroidery machine used.
.dst: embroidery file format for Tajima commercial embroidery machines
.exp: embroidery file format for Melco commercial embroidery machines
.jef: embroidery file format for Janome commercial embroidery machines
.kwk: embroidery file format for Brother commercial embroidery machines
.dsb: embroidery file format for Barudan commercial embroidery machines
.tap: embroidery file format for Happy commercial embroidery machines
Understanding the design is one of the most crucial parts in the digitization process. The size, complexity, and placement of the artwork can all impact the digitization process. Efficient digitizers (if they are truly professional) should take into account the choice of fabric and thread. Certain designs may benefit from using fabric to represent color rather than thread, resulting in a more impressive design. Additionally, assigning the correct stitch type for each area is critical when considering the fabric type and the "push and pull" of the garment. There are many variables and factors that can affect the embroidery outcome, therefore each project should be handled with care and attention. The following are some issues to consider during the digitization process.
1. Preparing Your Artwork for Digitizing
During the process of digitization, digitizers need to carefully analyze the artwork and determine whether it needs to be edited to fit the requirements of embroidery. The final size of the design is also a key factor to consider. Not all logos designed for print media, such as business cards, are suitable for embroidery. Therefore, many designs may need to be modified or simplified, or even just use the design name and a small image. Some elements, such as outlines, may need to be removed, while small text may need to be enlarged and repositioned.
2. Choosing Your Stitch Type
There are many different stitch types available for achieving various looks, textures, and effects when selecting embroidery stitch types. Each stitch type has a maximum stitch length that must be taken into consideration. Fabric type and the "push and pull" of the garment should also be considered when choosing stitch types. Here are the three most common types of machine embroidery stitch types.
3. Push & Pull
Another essential aspect of embroidery is the "push and pull." During embroidery, the design may shift, causing some stitches to become distorted. This shifting can occur when using bulky fabrics, long stitches, large areas of thread, and a tight bobbin thread. Digitizers must take into account the potential effects of push and pull.
4. Sew Out
Although left chest logos for many businesses can be easily digitized by experienced digitizers, designs with intricate details, small text, color gradations, and lots of color changes require more setup time. Digitization is a careful process that requires time and experience to be executed correctly. Digitizers must understand how the stitches they see in their embroidery software will appear on different fabrics. A well-digitized design can enhance the quality of your logo, so look for an embroiderer who provides high-quality digitization.
In summary, the better your file is set up, the better the resulting embroidery will be. There should be no shortcuts in this process, and with the increasing number of companies offering digitization services today, it is crucial to find the right person or business for the job. At Eagle Digitizing, we have a team of experienced digitizers that you can contact for the most professional digitizing services.